After over-coming a first half deficit against Wake Forest in the first round of the ACC tournament, the Maryland Terrapins got the match-up they wanted. Maryland is projected as about the fifth to 10th best team on the outside looking in when it comes to the NCAA tournament and what better way is there to prove you should be in then by beating the possible top overall seed in the NCAA tournament?
When the Terps took on Duke in the quarter-finals, it was a must-win game, but not a win and in game for Maryland. What that means is that the Terrapins needed to win the game to stay alive in the bubble talk, but at the same time a win wouldn’t lock them up a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Maryland got off to a fast start right out of the gates and never looked back as they had an answer to every single Duke run. That is the sign of a quality team. A team that can withstand comeback efforts over and over in the same game against a more talented team, is a major sign of a good team.
Alex Len, Dez Wells and Nick Faust all proved they can play with the big boys and aren’t afraid of any team they are put up against. When you have three talented players who can score at will against any team, you are in good shape. Jake Layman continues to prove he can knock-down the outside shot and that just gives the Terps another offensive option.
Maryland is now 22-11 with wins over North Carolina State and Duke twice. A weak non-conference schedule, but just the fact that they are the only team to beat Duke with Ryan Kelly in the line-up is impressive and they also beat Duke two out of their three games. Duke could have made a strong case for the top overall seed and Maryland beat them twice. That just shows how they can beat the good teams they are put up against and that they are one of the to 35 teams in the country.
A loss from Virginia today and also a loss to Kentucky has the Terps looking even better. Both Virginia and Kentucky were projected as the last four teams in the field, but neither of them won a game in their conference tournament. That should definitely have them on the outside looking in and make room for possibly Maryland.
The Terrapins went into tonight with something to prove and they did in fact prove it. They now will continue their quest at an ACC championship tomorrow in the semi-finals against the winner of North Carolina/Florida State.